A collision between a private tour bus and an MTA bus in Queens left the tour bus driver and two passengers dead and 16 injured early Monday morning.
The tragic collision occurred at 6:20 a.m. in Flushing at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Main Street, prompting a fast response from police and firefighters. First responders were forced to use hydraulic extrication devices to free some of those trapped in the wrecked buses.
Also caught in the collision was Kennedy Pizza & Chicken, which was smashed as the private tour bus’s momentum pushed the MTA bus into the store. The MTA bus was smashed up against it, facing the wrong direction on eastbound Northern Boulevard, causing the business to experience a small fire.
Of the three fatalities, two died at a local hospital. One pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene after being pinned underneath one of the buses, officials said.
Of the 16 injured, five were listed in critical condition. Others suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were in stable condition.
Emergency responders rushed the injured to New York Hospital Queens and Elmhurst Hospital, officials said.
One of the injured was 56-year-old Kang San, who was sitting in his Toyota after getting coffee at a nearby shop on Northern Boulevard when his car was struck during the collision.
“My husband is lucky. Maybe two minutes [earlier] it would be worse. He was walking before,” said San’s wife, Yung Lim, 62, who noted that San was picking up his co-workers. “He said, ‘I am lucky today.’”
San was taken to Elmhurst Hospital after suffering injuries to his back and leg, Lim said.
“He was nervous,” Lim said at the scene, adding, “When I come here, a lot of people lying on the floor. A lot of people were in pain.”
Queens native Yong Suk Miller, 66, experienced the incident from inside her seventh-floor apartment on Northern Boulevard.
“I feel the building shake a little. I hear crunching and shaking,” Miller said. “I thought it was a truck. Then I hear a lot of ambulances and fire trucks. This is bad.”
One onlooker thought at first that it was a terrorist attack.
“I was just coming from work. I thought it was a terrorist attack, I saw so many sirens and lights flashing,” Jay Rivera, 52, told The Post.
“I’ve never seen an accident of this magnitude. The impact must’ve spun the bus around. A lady told me that the buses hit at full speed. They have the Jaws of Life out, so you know it must be bad,” he said.
The city’s Office of Emergency Management also tweeted: “Due to a bus accident, expect extensive traffic delays & a heavy presence of emergency personnel in the area of Northern Blvd & Main St, QN.”
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